Global Warming is a Moral Issue

One way of approaching the issue of global warming is through Christian perspectives on stewardship and justice. Simply put: Creation is endangered as a result of human-induced climate change, and it is our moral obligation to care for the earth and those who will suffer from the natural and economic disasters stemming from the coming environmental changes.

This view demands that we urge our leaders to accept the evidence of the scientific community and follow their recommendations to take the necessary actions to protect Creation. That means:

* strong emissions reductions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change;
* financial assistance to low-income and working families to protect them from the rising cost of energy; and
* international adaptation assistance to help vulnerable nations and communities cope with the impacts of global warming.

Help strengthen efforts to address climate change and improve humanity's stewardship of the earth. Please tell President Obama that climate change is a moral issue.

Dear President Obama:

Genesis and the Psalms tell the story of God as Creator and humankind as the stewards of Earth. The Prophets and the teachings of Jesus speak of justice for all, especially our neighbors who are voiceless and vulnerable. Inspired by the words of Holy Scripture, Christians are called to be stewards of Creation and to work for justice.

As Christians, we heed the call to be faithful stewards and caretakers of God's creation by limiting the future impacts of climate change on God's Earth. Already, global warming has damaged the precious balance of God's creation causing long-term drought in Africa, increased disease in many of the world's poorest countries, and an increase in natural disasters that are destroying homes and lives. Any steps we take to address climate change must follow scientific recommendations and focus on the short-term goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by 15-20 percent reduction by 2020 with a long-term vision to achieve carbon emissions reductions of 80 percent by 2050. Failure to meet these targets will put vulnerable communities in great peril from increase climate change impacts.

We are driven to act by our moral obligation to stand up for those living in poverty who have contributed least to the problem of climate change yet stand to suffer the most. Experts tell us low-income communities and people of color are at the greatest risk to the physical impacts of climate change and could bear the greatest burden economically from efforts to address this moral issue if not done appropriately. Any and all efforts that address climate change should therefore include meaningful and measurable steps to shield those living in poverty from the disproportionate dangers while limiting their increased financial burdens. The inclusion of financial assistance to low-income and working families who will be most affected by the rising cost of energy is necessary and must be considered as we move forward.

Global warming's societal impact--floods, droughts, and the increased number of natural disasters--already falls most heavily on those around the world who are least able to mitigate the impact. To rectify this injustice, public and private efforts to address climate change must include mechanisms that provide adaptation assistance to the world's most vulnerable developing nations and communities in order to assist them in their efforts to deal with the impacts of global warming. The US should work with these communities to provide appropriate low carbon technology and the needed support to create both adaptation plans and response systems.

For all to have enough requires that others address patterns of acquisition and consumption. We cannot achieve significant reductions in global warming emissions unless we make changes in our lifestyles and particularly in our energy consumption. Energy conservation must be prominent throughout our economy.

We remain committed to requiring that the tenets of justice and stewardship are incorporated as we address this moral crisis.
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